Category Archives: UESF News

Major Climate Action in Oakland on Saturday, November 21st

Gather at 10:30 a.m. at the Lake Merritt Amphitheater
12:00 noon march to Frank Ogawa/Oscar Grant Plaza for 1:00 p.m. rally

RSVP & share on Facebook or use this online form

From November 30th to December 11th, the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) will take place in Paris. The conference comes at a crucial time, because the world needs coordinated action now, at the highest level, to restrain global warming and prevent the worst human, ecological, and social disaster imaginable.

At the Nor Cal Climate Mobilization on November 21st, participants will demand that the COP21 conference take decisive action. All are welcome at the event, which will include performers, speakers, tabling, and activities for kids.

We hope to see you there! UESF will join the labor contingent, which will assemble at the Lake Merritt Amphitheatr beginning at 10:30 a.m. Look for your UESF banner and make sure to wear your UESF t-shirt!

Spotlight: San Francisco Affordability Crisis

In the video, Buena Vista Horace Mann K-8 teacher Norman Zelaya speaks eloquently about how the affordability crisis is impacting his school and his community.

Make sure to check out this powerful new video from AJ+ detailing how the affordability crisis in San Francisco is impacting this successful community school.  Featuring interviews with a parent and three teachers at the school, the video drives home just how fragile our school communities are in the face of the displacement now underway.

Please watch and share on Facebook.



Thanks to All Who Volunteered During the November Election Campaign

Paraprofessionals Cathy O’Byrne-Shewchuck and Larry Nichelson were two of the many UESF members who volunteered for the campaign!

Thanks to all of the UESF members who walked precincts and made phone calls during our November election campaign. In all we filled nearly 200 volunteer shifts, and were instrumental in helping to elect Aaron Peskin to become the next District 3 Supervisor.

Aaron is a fierce progressive advocate, who stands arm-and-arm with us and our communities in our struggle for an affordable San Francisco. We look forward to working with him as we address the ongoing crisis.

Equally important was the passage of Prop. A, the $310 million housing bond that will not only will provide essential resources for affordable housing, but direct benefits to public school teachers and paras as well. Make sure to read this write up in the Los Angeles Times. We’re also happy to report that Prop. D passed, the housing development sponsored by the San Francisco Giants that includes 40% low- and moderate-income housing – a blueprint for future development.

On Monday, UESF will again meet with representatives from the Mayor’s office and the district to discuss the construction of bricks and mortar housing, and the renewal of the Teacher Next Door program and other benefits from Prop. A. We will keep you posted on any new developments.

Special thanks to UESF Political Director Ken Tray, who worked tirelessly with our allies on the November election.

Scatena Fund Applications for Members in Financial Need

Applications Due December 4, 2015

The Scatena Memorial Fund was established as a trust with the Bank of America in 1925 in order to provide grants to San Francisco active and retired teachers and paras who are in extreme financial need.

To apply for the Scatena Fund grants, please fill out the two-page application form, available at the UESF office and linked to below. The deadline for applications to be received at the UESF office is 5:00 p.m. on Friday, December 4, 2015.

2015 Scatena Fund application

UESF T-shirts are now just $5!

UESF T-shirts are now available for $5 each in both Women’s and Men’s cuts in two styles – our traditional blue shirt with the bridge logo and the new Black Lives Matter shirt.

For more information, and to place an order, click here.

Learning from Education Reform in El Salvador

Bret Harte Elementary teacher Molly Stark (far right) with a proud adult literacy program participant (second from right) who in the past six months has learned how to both read and write.

By Molly Stark
October 2015

El Salvador has become notorious for political instability and high levels of gang violence that have ensued as a result. What this narrative fails to tell is the story of hope simultaneously writing itself. For the first time in the history of the country, El Salvador’s newly elected  government, the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), has made education public and free for all. Through a government instated National Literacy Program, the country’s high levels of illiteracy are being targeted as well. Since the adoption of the program in 2009, the illiteracy rate, previously one of the highest in the world, has dropped from 18% to 12%. The program owes its success to community organizing and sharing of resources. The effort to promote equity through education has truly become a community effort in El Salvador. Much can be learned from this simple, yet novel approach. Continue reading

Please Help Support Zamora Martinez if You Can

Milk Elementary teacher Marisa Martinez with her daughter Zamora. Help Zamora get the treatment she needs by donating on her Go fund me page.

September 23, 2015

On Saturday, September 26th the Harvey Milk Academy community will host a block party and fundraiser for Zamora! All are welcome!

Advanced tickets are just $15 each on Eventbrite or or $20 at the gate the day of the event. Please help spread the word on Facebook!

September 4, 2015

This July, Harvey Milk teacher Marisa Martinez got the news that no parent ever wants to hear – her beautiful seven year old daughter Zamora has been diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, or DIPG.

With doctors giving Zamora just 12 months to live, and with treatment options limited in the United States, Marisa has decided that the best path forward for her daughter is to receive experimental treatment from a physician in England. But the cost of the treatment, travel, and lodging will be very expensive.

Marisa and her family would be grateful for any contribution that you can make to help get her daughter the treatment she needs. Contributions at any level can be made at her Go Fund Me page.

Please keep Marisa and her daughter in your thoughts and prayers. We will keep you posted with updates, including a block party planned for Zamora later in the month.

UESF Accepting Applications for CTE Project Director Position

New Deadline: Applications Due by October 28, 2015

Thanks to generous support from the American Federation of Teachers, UESF is happy to announce the new year-long position of CTE Project Director, as part of our partnership with the district to teach the nation’s first K-12 computer science curriculum to all SFUSD students.

UESF enthusiastically supports this groundbreaking work for its focus on equity for San Francisco students and professional opportunities for teachers. We recognize that computer science knowledge is a new “basic skill” for 21st century jobs, particularly in the Bay Area, and are committed to helping teachers develop the skills, knowledge, and credentials they need for this program to be successful.

Working closely with the District chief of staff, Human Resources Department, the Office of Curriculum and Instruction, and the Office of College and Career Readiness the educator hired to this position will develop the training and support that teachers need, with a specific focus on middle school teachers.

 For more information, click here.